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Mukwonago High School's Lynett Havelka named Outstanding Secondary Marketing Educator

Nov. 27, 2012

She's seen students go on to become the global market director for Walmart, to sit on the state DECA advisory board, and to follow in her footsteps as a marketing teacher. She's gone to restaurants to have a former student working as the manager tell her that everything he is using as a manager, he learned in her marketing classes.

Lynett Havelka started teaching at Mukwonago High School in DECA's infancy, almost 26 years ago. On Nov. 8 she was honored by Wisconsin Marketing Education Association (WMEA) as the Outstanding Secondary Marketing Educator during the WMEA annual conference in Eau Claire. WMEA is a group of secondary and post secondary marketing educators whose focus is professional development for its members and recognizes the achievement of its members through a variety of awards.

Monona Grove High School teacher Sheila Hibner described Havelka as "a foundation to our organization through dedication, service and exemplary performance."

Over the years, Havelka has provided innovations to the MHS marketing education program, adding courses in entrepreneurship, global marketing and revamping the World of Business class. Havelka articulated the MHS courses with Waukesha County Technical College to ensure rigor of curriculum and financial benefits to students and families, Hibner explained in her nomination.

When Havelka started at MHS, the school store was a small closet behind paneling at the back of her classroom selling candy and a few school supplies. The school store hit a pivotal point with its first sweatshirt sale, Havelka said. Now the bookstore, run by DECA students, carries a vast array of offerings from school supplies to MHS clothing.

"DECA is a passion for Lynett, and she has worked hard to maintain the organization during times of tough budget cuts and reductions," said Hibner. "Lynett's philosophy for DECA is multidimensional in that it includes leadership development activities, community service and competitive spirit."

Havelka teaches her students the importance of businesses giving back to the community that supports them and is especially invested in the Becky Werner Foundation established after Werner, a former student, died of meningitis at age 20. With the help of Werner's parents, Bob and DeeDee Werner, Mukwonago DECA has assisted in raising awareness and funds to spread the message about the meningitis vaccination. The family presents a $1,000 scholarship each year to a Mukwonago senior who will pursue education in the field of marketing, Hibner explained.

Along with her academic contributions, Havelka has served on the state superintendent's Advisory Board for Business, Marketing and Information Technology, served as a district series director and judge coordinator and has served on the state DECA leadership team for the past 15 years as the director of facilities for the State Career Development Conference, according to Hibner.

While Havelka provides marketing students with the skills and knowledge to compete in DECA competition, the leadership and confidence gained through her courses give students skills for life.

"Whether or not you go into a marketing career," Havelka said, "you're going to market yourself."

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